Friday, September 14, 2018

Elder, Rama, Nicaragua, December of 2017

45 years after we lost our home to an earthquake I returned to my birthplace of Nicaragua. The experience of walking in the footsteps of my parents cannot be described fully, for my mind still needs to process the events of last December.

One thing is for sure, the people of Nicaragua treated me like a prince, like one of their own. Thanks to my cousins Victor and Carlos, it felt just like home. Their homes were my homes, their hospitality was as generous as any in my travels. Certainly this was a reflection of our culture, of their respect for my parents... but it was so much more, and I may begin to understand more so when we meet once again this December.

Then there were those we met on the road, such as this man on our way to the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. We never did reach the coast, but this neighborhood of Rama was as kind as we could have imagined. The people were so generous with their kindness, and allowed us to have a morning session which resulted in this portrait.

These beautiful people work hard day in and day out, and their lives are anything but easy. Their entire neighborhood was built on the outskirts of the town without planning nor distribution of basic services from the municipal government. Yet they endure and do their best for the sake of their children.

His home is as basic as can be, wooden walls with a dirt floor. He has slept in the same bed for decades and his mosquito net does what it can to protect him on those long, hot nights. He lived alone and worked from sunrise to sunset just to have enough to eat. There are times when the making of a portrait makes me pause, such was his.

I look forward to returning in December and going deeper into this man's history, as well as the relationships formed during my first visit in over 4 decades.

Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm C lens combination.

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